Sainsbury’s Confess ‘British’ Eels Actually From New Zealand!

Sainsbury's sign

The Chief Executive of Sainsbury’s, Justin King CBE, has written to the Angling Trust admitting that jellied eels sold in his supermarkets are not British, as they were marketed, but are from New Zealand. He was responding to a challenge by the Angling Trust, who had been informed by the National Anguilla Club that eels were sold in Sainsbury’s under a sign saying “from sustainable sources from around the British Isles”. Mr King said “as a result of your communication, we will ensure that communications at our store fish counters are as clear as possible.” Eels used to be a vital part of freshwater ecosystems and their decline by 95% in recent decades is nothing short of a disgrace.  They are also favoured foods by otters and cormorants, who are presumably turning to other fish now that they can’t catch as many eels to eat.  This story was picked up by The Guardian and also as far afield as New Zealand.

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Two Billion Pound Spend Highlights Huge Value Of Recreational Sea Angling

Recreational sea angling in England supported over two billion pounds in total spending and supported over 23,000 jobs in 2012 according to the results published this week in a Defra-funded report entitled Sea Angling 2012, which was a survey of recreational sea angling activity and economic value in England.  The Angling Trust has been closely involved in the production of this report, which will provide us with useful ammunition when campaigning to get Ministers to protect marine fish stocks for the benefit of sea angling.  However you cut the cake, that contribution to the economy is far greater than the UK catching sector and we will be doing all that we can to promote this fact to Defra officials and Ministers who tend to pay close attention when the commercials demand the right to catch ever more fish.   This story was picked up by The Times, but I can’t link to it because of their pay wall.

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What this demonstrates is that the Angling Trust, as the unified representative body for all anglers is capable of generating press coverage in the national and international media.  We can only do this with the support of membership subscriptions and donations from anglers.  If you’re not already a member, please join up at or call 01568 620447 during office hours.  It only takes five minutes, but it would mean the world to us.


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